Posts Tagged ‘sewing’


I still have a ton more photos to sort before telling you about our family reunion last week.  AND… I have places to go & people to see before I can just sit and do that.

However —

this beautifully wrapped package —

contains —

to be used with —

and tips from here  —

and here —

Will all add up to help me to get to Houston.  😀  In 18 days!!!  😀

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Sewing Classes 5 & 6

For the last 2 classes with my young girls, they made skirts.  This is Butterick pattern 4722.  We used view E for an elastic waist skirt with ruffle.   It dawned on me to make my example skirts for Miss E that came to visit the farm last fall while her “Poppa” was helping Phil.  I hope she is DEE-lighted with her skirts.   Her grandma said her favorite colors are red & blue.

My students were much more creative in their shopping endeavors!  And they said they had fun.  😉

A few students were challenged with gathering the ruffle and inserting the elastic so the last class took a bit longer.    I continue to wonder if the pattern was too much for them or we just needed more time.  I don’t know.  The girls were so excited to have made their skirts and had plans to wear them either to “show Grandma tonight” or wear them to church on Sunday.

I had such super students!  Great fun…. but tiring for all of us.  🙂

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Beginning Sewing 2 & 3

For the next 2 classes at Beginning Sewing Class we worked on making tote bags from upcycled jeans.

I was thrilled the girls came with 2 XL pairs of used jeans as instructed on their take-home papers. They (& their parents) were good shoppers!  (or closet divers!)

Most of class 2 was spent cutting.  Too much cutting if you asked them!  We took apart the pants, easily….. NOT by ripping out stitches!   Then I had made heavy patterns from poster board for them to trace around.  Those pieces needed cut out.

We sewed a tiny bit with seaming the pieces for the side & bottom and straps.   All the girls were extra tired and slow-going this day so we didn’t get as far as I hoped.

At the end of the time, they piled their pieces neatly and 2 asked to take all their scraps home with them.  I’m sure the moms were thrilled!  🙂   They had cut out a front, a back, enough pieces to make 2 straps, and enough pieces to make a long piece for the sides and bottom.  The girls were excited about their embroidered pockets I had made and their pocket was placed on top to label their pile.

The next class had them excited to finish!  Maybe it was the sunny day that helped too!  I told them that we had a lot to accomplish if they wanted to finish their bags today.  They worked hard and finished!

There was much more sewing to do this day and of course, all 3 preferred the variegated thread to plain old top-stitching thread to coordinate with the jean idea.    So the 3 of them took turns using 2 machines.

The machines were a bit more cantankerous this class.  I’ve bought new belts for them and have asked Phil to open up the motors to see what he can clean, oil, or tweak in there.  I really need 3 machines going for our next classes.

I helped the girls sew on the pockets as the corners were quite thick!  On one pocket while going veryvery slowly, I broke a needle!  Oh my!  The shock to them that I had broken a needle.  “She did it herself!!”  “She broke the needle!!”  It was quite funny!!  One carried the pieces to the kitchen counter so later I could take them to the broken needle container.

I don’t have permission to post their photos but above these totes are 3 darling smiles! So cute!  They had been parading around the room with them on their shoulders and I asked them for a photo.  So fun!!

We did skip the flat-felled seam to finish the edges.  It was time to be done and the girls were at the end of their limits.  The totes are so big for them but they can carry a lot!

In hindsight, I think the project was  more than they were ready to tackle but they are happy with their totes!  🙂  Next up is a few classes of working with a purchased pattern and making a skirt!  I’ll keep you posted as I can.

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A Peek at Sewing Class

Last week was class 1 of Beginning Sewing Class and I had three 9 year old girls for class.  Another student will join us for the following weeks.

I had out 3 of my black Singers to use.  And you can see in the corner, a selection of fabrics they got to use for our project.

I think it looked quite fun in the living room and the girls were pretty full of smiles to see the machines.  (So were my small group ladies the night before!)  One student admitted to being scared.  None of them had ever used a sewing machine.   One had been taught to hand-sew by her dad! 🙂  (not like our house!)

I went over the parts of the sewing machines and they found the various places on the machine where they were sitting.  I gave them a path drawn on paper and they sewed along the path without thread.  The first part was a square that worked its way to the center so lots of practice with raising & lowering the needle, the presser foot, and pivoting the paper.   The first side was shakey, the next side went better, and then the lightbulbs went on!  🙂   The second half of the paper was for following the line with the edge of the presser foot.  It was fun!!  They enjoyed it much more than I did in 7th grade Home Ec. when I wanted fabric to sew.

Our project for the day was making a pillow.  I showed them the fabric choices, some batik prints leftover from K’s school projects.   One at a time they came to the cutting area, traced around my 12 1/2″ ruler, and then cut out their pillow front & back with scissors.  They repinned for sewing and of course, all of a sudden, all 3 were ready for thread!  I threaded all the machines, one incorrectly I think, and away they went!  They had to do a few stitches in reverse at the start & stop of the opening and pivot at all the corners.  Fun & they did it!!!  🙂

Then they trimmed the corners as I showed them, turned the pillows right side out, and stuffed them.  While the first one was turning her pillow, another student asked if I had the stuff to put inside.  The first student beamed, “Yes, I see it over here.”   So exciting  — I had bought stuffing!!  🙂  And their delight at pulling out bits from the bag.   Glee!!!

After getting enough stuffing inside, I showed them how to hand sew the opening closed.  I showed a hidden stitch with a bite into one fold, then slide into the opposite side’s fold.  After they got going, I checked on one student.  She said the beginning part (that I did) wasn’t right, she had switched to a whip stitch on the outside of the fabric.   I think dad won in that lesson.  So funny!!

I reviewed our next 2 projects, what they need to bring for the next class, and we measured their waists so I bought the right sized skirt pattern on sale last weekend.   And it was time to head home!  I was THRILLED they finished their pillows in the class time AND I got to go over the next projects.  They are excited.

As 2 waited for the ride home, they asked if I had more papers to stitch on. Thankfully, yes!  They were delighted to try a different machine and stitch again.

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Third of Three

I took quilts and sewing projects to 3 fairs this summer and now the last one has been judged.

These poor pillowcases got a 3rd place at every single fair.  I suspect because they are in the Embroidered Pillowcase category and are done by machine.  All the others were by hand.  Well, hmpf!  Obviously, it looks easy to some…..  😉    I think their new owners will like them better than 3rd place.

My pillows here are the NY Beauty pieced one in pinks & browns (1st in pieced pillows) and the cream one with pink quilting (1st in quilted pillows).   I also entered my tan embroidered pillow and it got a second.  Once again… machine embroidered so they wouldn’t even place it in a first place spot.  😦  Stinkers!

This bottom wallhanging is my kitchen quilt.  It has received a 1st in wallhangings at every fair.   🙂   The piecing is simple but I did a lot of free-motion quilting on it.  The plain squares on point have a ruffled heart quilted in them.

My large quilt (shown here on the left) got a second in pieced quilts at this fair.   When we first walked in there was only a 3rd place ribbon for this category and I was shocked thinking that they didn’t even place the others.  Thankfully, after we had supper they were putting on the 1st & 2nd place ribbons.  Whew!   There were 5 quilts in this category.

My quilted jacket (you saw it from the last fair) got a 2nd place in lined jackets.


Check this out –>

OH HAPPY DAY, my coat got a first in Coats and claimed Best of Show in the whole textile department!!  Yahoo!!!  To top it off, this is the only 1 of these fairs that pays an extra premium for Best of Show.   🙂   I’m sure you’ll be anxious to see the hat K will make to compliment this. 😉 😉   😉

I noticed this was on my coat (it is for Miss K) as soon as we entered the building!  I nearly shouted but didn’t want to embarrass Phil.  haha!

Even tho this county includes a big city, the Textile Department is small.      I like the table boxes that hold most of the entries and that they cover everything after judging with thick clear plastic.  I would guess there were 100 entries here.   I entered 8 items and placed in all 8.  That pleased me as this fair only goes to 3 places.

I’m back to getting soap made.  A busy summer and good sales = a low inventory right now.  I started 2 batches yesterday and poured one this morning.  I’ll be trying to pour 2 a day for at least a week.  Not sure I’ll keep that crazy pace tho.

My dad went home from the hospital this morning and is pleased to be home with good cooking and his own bed, I’m sure.  Thanks for all the prayers, he did really well!

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Girl Scout Sewing

On Saturday, I was invited to come help a granddaughter of a quilt guild friend finish up her Gold Award in Girl Scouts.

This isn't me but it could be!

Since I was a Girl Scout (back in the day) but only through elementary school, I thought it would be a fun way to help her out!  I knew Saturday was to be busy but this was just in the morning.

Ashley had sewed 100 pillows that will be donated to the local cancer center.  The pillows are used to give the patients a soft place to rest their arm during chemo.  Part of her project is to include leadership and so she corralled a bunch of quilter’s (friends of her grandma!) to help out with the hand sewing.

Ashley mailed out a flyer with all the specifics and even included a little extra page in my envelope with directions specific to my town.  🙂

Soon after we all arrived at 9:30 a.m., Ashley, her mom, her sister, and Grandma began stuffing pillows.  As they finished, the younger sisters brought the pillows to our sewing tables.

Four were at this card table where I worked

And 2 others and the grandma were at the kitchen table.

We finished them ALL before the 12 noon end time.  Yeah!!  I was surprised and the mom was extra thankful! 🙂  In fact, I was on the way home by 11:30 after enjoying some time visiting together.

And now you know some of my quilt guild friends!  🙂

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Various Sewing Projects

In the middle of all the fun of the past weekend, I did get in some sewing time.

1st on the list was “Kendra’s Thing”.  So named because that is what she wrote on my piece of paper for my planning.  🙂  Kendra is my niece, the other K cousin.


This is a curtain/wallhanging that she will hang from a rod behind her bed like where a headboard would be.  Kendra sent the fabrics she chose after we had planned the amounts while at Ronk-A-Palooza.  She requested something “made by my aunt” and after some brainstorming she thought of this.

It has tabs across the top for hanging and the tabs match their section, either hot pink or chocolate brown.

She got her box today and there was also a matching coaster in there for her nightstand.  🙂

#2 project was coasters. You may have seen K’s comment awhile back requesting coasters for her new place.   She chose hot pink & purple with some of her black lace on top.

K's coasters

With just the lace for the design, I only had to layer and quilt them.  🙂  Of course, the binding takes the longest.

K's backThe quilting shows up the best from the back.

Today I made JP some new pj’s.    I don’t think he has had store bought jammies since he grew out of the footed ones!  🙂  It is hard to find fabric for a boy so always takes some searching.

joann's bag

His jammies are from the beige camo & knit on the left.

You wanna hear the story about THAT shopping trip to Joann’s?  I took the picture of my purchase in case you wanted to hear about it.  😀

This was back on the day that Phil had a meeting and I got to ride along to the city but then I went shopping.  🙂   Of course, one stop was the fabric store.  I finally had made my selections and went to get the fabrics measured and cut.

One lady was at the cutting table, Miss Grumpy!  😦   She got to the beige knit and it was all in sections, not a long piece on the bolt!  Ugh!  On top of that… there were 3 variations of beige.  I had already selected the outer one to match the camo fabric.  I wasn’t sure there was enough for a top for tall JP on any of the pieces.  I asked for a measuring tape to double check the lengths against me.   (How long will I make the top?)

She asked again what I wanted.  A measuring tape.

Why?  To check some lengths to figure how much to get since I have to get it in 2 pieces.

As if she had never heard of a measuring tape!

But finally she pulled one from underneath the counter.  I figured there was one there.  AND I gave it back when I was done!  🙂

She said she could give me a remnant price (1/2 off) the other little piece I thought I’d need.  OK.

On to the ribbing… I asked for a 1/8 of a yard.  She suggested 5″.  Sure.

Then she cut the other fabrics.  The green & blues are for more napkins to match the everyday tablecloths in the kitchen.

I proceeded to the check-out.  As Miss Friendly Teen was ringing me up, I followed on the little screen waiting to swipe my credit card.  Part way through my total was at $147!!  Yikes!  I said that there must be a problem as it wasn’t going to be THAT much and she said she hadn’t applied my discounts yet.  Yeah  right!  There was a problem even so!

I looked at one of the cutting slips and Miss Grumpy and entered 25 yards instead of .125 yards on the ribbing!!!  Yikes! Just the ribbing was costing me $99!

So Miss Friendly Teen worked at correcting the error.  With no fault of her own, the computer froze up so I had to wait while the manager rebooted it and fixed my sale.    In reality, the ribbing cost me $0.50.  :p

Not that any of that is important but I’m keeping the tradition, “too make a long story longer, ask Joan”.   😀

(That's my mom. ;)  Wouldn't it be fun if she were blogging?  hint, hint)

So now the jammies are finally made and in the wash.

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I got home with K and we had a late supper all together.  JP & Phil had been at the 4-H Ice Cream stand working so had just finished cooking when we came in.  K thought it a great idea to run to the fair tonight after supper so I could get pictures of my stuff.  You owe her! 😉

My Best of Show quilted pillow

pillowcasesEmbroidered & hand made pillowcases

(one is brights with hats and one is drums & a music theme)


coastersCoasters – I had 1st

denim jacketEmbroidered denim jacket.  It is variations of pink for the flowers and swags.  They artfully arranged it on the shelf to show the front & back at the same time!

soapI have yet to figure out why a set of 3 bars of homemade soap are in the canning section but I still play along.  Usually I’m the only entry which = $5.  Why not?

wallhangingThe 2nd place wallhanging is mine in the light batiks.  It is 3 paper-pieced stars and hangs vertically with the point at the bottom.   I would have to agree the McKenna Ryan all stitched down w/ buttonhole stitch is quite nice and deserves the 1st.

We were probably only at the fair an hour.  Visited with some friends who were happy to see K and checked on Grandma M’s antique entries.

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I’ve been hunkering down in my sewing room any spare bit of time I get (getting projects done for the fair) so not much blogging …or cleaning for that matter!

I think I had returned to my sewing room by Wednesday last week.  So this was done on Thursday:

fair 2A new cosemetic bag for my purse… because I changed purses and need a matching one.  😉  It is about 5″ long.  A zipper closes the bag across the top and the tab comes across and has a magnetic snap.

Friday I finished 6 coasters that coordinate with the kitchen.  (However, you can’t see the kitchen re-do yet because the kitchen needs cleaned!)

fair 3I’ll only enter 4 but I have 6 in case we have soup when company is over.  🙂

fair 4I liked this quilting design… it echoes the movement of the pinwheel.

Sunday I finished this appliqued and quilted purse/small tote.  It has 6 pockets inside.  I love the batik fabrics and the beads on the clematis!

fair 5

Monday I finished this pillow.  I actually had done 2 of the 4 blocks last year so just had to finish the other 2 and put it all together.  These are 6″ New York Beauty blocks, paper pieced on freezer paper.  The 2 I just did, I used the new method of paper piecing without stitching on the paper.

fair 6

Tuesday I finished the embroidery on this denim jacket.  I love the little pink tassels.  They are loose like fringe!  🙂

fair 7The front has a little bouquet.

fair 8Sorry for the poor picture… it is dark so hard to get the color/flash right on my camera.  And I’m tired.  🙂   But I wanted to show you the back styling.  That is why I chose this feminine design.

fair 9Up close of the back of denim jacket.

I’ve also volunteered for 3 mornings at the 4-H office to get paperwork done for them before the fair next week.

JP is working on a lapbook for his advanced computer project and taking good care of his pigs for the swine show.  Now if I could only find the big bottle of baby shampoo I know I saw within the last year.  I thought… Oh good, we don’t have to buy any for JP’s pigs this year.  However…. we can’t find it now!

I’m tired of my allergies and must head to bed soon…..

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Backtrack to Saturday

I finally started on my new winter outfit last Saturday.   I meditated on the pattern and how I’d alter it for many days previously!

I was so happy when I cut out the pattern pieces that the flounce down the front/ collar HAD lines for shortening it!  I needed to shorten the jacket but wondered how that would affect the flounce.  Ta-Da the designers thought of that too!  😉

Cutting it out:


The jacket has a peplum hence those pattern pieces #7 & 8 that you may question how they fit in a jacket.  

Reminding myself once again why I buy extra fabric when shopping at JoAnn’s!  They have big thumbs and short.you.every.time.  


I either purchased a 1/4 or 1/2 yard extra, shortened the pattern pieces, and still barely had anything left.  

The sunsets here are stunning sometimes!


And then seconds later:


I have only sewed a bit on the jacket.  The fronts & backs are together.  Next is assembling the lining.  I bought light burgundy/dark pink lining!  🙂  I realllly need to work on sewing tomorrow.  

Most of my week this week has been strangled with prep for my quilt guild board meeting.  {It was Wednesday afternoon and I survived!  :-p}  I had hopes of sewing today but filled a soap order, cleaned the kitchen, and made dinner this morning instead.  

And I’ll tell you something special, tho not quite a secret,… the program chairperson for quilt guild is planning fabulous programs for 2009!!  You should come!

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